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€14 Million Public Funds Awarded To Firm Sued By Education Dept.

Western Building Systems, latter a company that built 42 schools, many of which have been found to have structural defects, has been awarded the contract to build a new ward block at the constantly over crowed University Hospital Limerick, which serves patients in the North Tipperary region.

RTE journalist Emma O’Kelly reports that the Health Service Executive (HSE), together with University Hospital Limerick, have both confirmed that, in May 2019 last, it awarded a contract for a new 60 bed ward block to Western Building Systems, at a cost of some €14 million, excluding VAT.

However, of the 42 schools previously built by this company; serious structural flaws, including breaches of fire safety had previously been uncovered at 23 of the school buildings since late last year. Only last week the Department of Education announced that similar structural defects had now been discovered during more recent investigations at a further 17 school buildings constructed by this company.

RTE’s reports that University Hospital Limerick confirms that this contract is now “under way and progressing well through the design development process”, with the essential new ward block expected to be completed by late 2020.

RTE understands that the Department of Education is presently pursuing legal action against Western Building Systems for the cost of remedying and the reversing of both the temporary and long-term building defects, which were discovered at the schools constructed by the company and which are expected to run into millions of Euro.

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“Calling” Required By Thurles Social Warriors

Attention all you Thurles Social Warriors, Thurles Lobbyists, Thurles Community Facebook Activists; failed, power hungry, would-be, Thurles Local Councillors and Sleepy, Powerless, Crusading Tipperary County Councillors, who once again have managed to fool the local electorate.

Please find a new task requiring your active lobbying; same shown above to be shared on Facebook. [Pictures make it easier for those lobbyists unable to read.]

The above are called drains; their purpose, to remove excess water from road surfaces. Unfortunately every 5 years or so, they require cleaning, a process quite difficult when no council workers are being employed. [Check Golf Club and Nenagh roads entering the town.]

However, I think all would agree that come winter, especially when leaves begin to fall, expect severe flooding and ice patches, if this neglect is allowed to continue.

Oh, and when you are finished with solving the former problem do what you do best, go “Calling” for action on this other problem shown immediately above, before a pedestrian falls over them on the pavement in the dark.

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St. Patrick’s Cemetery Gates Vanish

It’s confirmed, they have vanished into thin air as if by magic. Yes, all five gates guarding the entrance to St. Patrick’s cemetery have disappeared.

Making solid metal objects vanish has never failed to spark a sense of wonder in the hearts of simple rural dwellers.

Where did they go? Were they stolen by Dublin criminals, to be carted back to the nation’s capital, using high speed cars pulling flat trailers; to be sold off by the thief, anxious to fund his next heroin fix? Should local Thurles Gardaí be notified?

St. Patrick’s cemetery was first consecrated on May 11th, 1928, by Most Reverend Dr. J.W. Harty, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Cashel & Emly. (See history link HERE.) Since that date, some 91 years later, the gates to this cemetery have received no more than one coat of paint, adequately reflecting the current overall attitude that exists within Thurles, under the current governance of Templemore / Thurles Municipal District Council and their officials.

Hold on a second; is there a chance here that perhaps Thurles Municipal District Council officials may have demanded their removal; same mortified and red faced, in the knowledge that €90.00 is now required for planning permission to currently erect a headstone on previously purchased graves?

One wonders why recently elected local town councillors haven’t been busy on Facebook in search of credits or did perhaps officials fail to inform them of the removal?

Speaking of Facebook, we did note that one councillor was “calling” for a “Sensory Garden” for the town at their last meeting. Sure wouldn’t St. Patrick’s cemetery make a lovely Sensory Garden, now that the gates are gone hopefully for repair or for scrap and eventual replacement!

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Public Service Cards In Breach Of Data Legislation

The Government has been given just 21 days to stop misusing Public Services Cards and the Data Protection Commission (DPC) are demanding that data held on more than 3.2 million such cards be now deleted within 21 days.

Public Services Cards were first introduced as a pilot scheme in 2011, primarily as a means of preventing social welfare fraud. Initially, it was to be an identification card of sorts, containing simply the personal details of the holder e.g. their name, photo, PPS Number etc, that could be presented by individuals identifying themselves when claiming social welfare benefits.

However, to many including Digital Rights Ireland; the Irish Council for Civil Liberties; the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Age Action, this same introduction was seen as an attempt to introduce a National ID card by stealth.

Some cynics, distrustful of current government sincerity or integrity, suggested, (tongue in cheek), that PPS Numbers should be tattooed on peoples left arms, latter the method of identification used to identify inmates in German concentration camps, like Auschwitz and Birkenau in Poland.

Public Services Cards went on to grant not just access to Social Welfare Services but access to Child Benefit and Treatment Benefits; first time adult passport applicants within the State; citizenship applications; driver theory test applications and access to personal online public services, e.g. Social Welfare and Revenue services, via MyGovId.

In recent years the Irish populace, particularly the elderly, were being persistently contacted by the Department of Social Protection, latter who were insisting that Public Services Cards were mandatory. The Minister for Social Welfare, Regina Doherty, stated back in 2017, that this PSC card was, quote; “mandatory but not compulsory” and yet “no more compulsory than having a driving license”, after a woman in her 70’s revealed she had not received her pension for 18 months, because she had refused to register for the card.

The department will now have six weeks in total to submit new plans to the Data Protection Commission (DPC), (latter the national independent authority responsible for upholding the fundamental right of the individual within the EU to have their personal data protected), outlining how it will bring this Public Services Card scheme into full compliance with current existing data protection legislation.

The amount of taxpayers money that has been wasted by this government on this project is estimated at €54.6 million; with some €9.5 million being incurred so far this year and card production alone costing €20.9 million according to the Irish Times newspaper.

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115 Patients Waiting In Hospital Emergency Departments In Tipperary

According to the Irish Nurses and Midwives’ Organisation there are 541 people, nationally, on trolleys in emergency departments and wards awaiting admission to a hospital bed. [Please Click Here to observe the published figures for yourself.]

The silence continues, as University Hospital Limerick, latter serving North Tipperary, is once again the worst affected medical facility, with 70 patients waiting for a bed.

South Tipperary General Hospital serving the south of the county has 45 patients waiting, bringing the overall total for Co. Tipperary alone to 115 patients.

Of the two Tipperary hospitals, the INMO confirm that on trolleys there are 75 people, plus 40 admitted to wards.

The INMO further claim that nationally 390 people remain on trolleys in emergency departments nationally, with 151 on wards and with almost 25% of the national total number of patients waiting, to be found in the two hospitals serving Co. Tipperary.

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